Dynamic businessman Joe Hayes was "an extraordinary man with an extraordinary vision", his son Thady said at his funeral yesterday.
Requiem Mass for the former managing director of Independent Newspapers was held at the Church of Our Lady of Mercy, Crosschapel, Blessington, Co Wicklow.
Denis Joseph Hayes (69), who died on Monday after an eight-month cancer battle, was a native of Ballyduff, Co Kerry. He lived at Rathmore, Co Kildare.
Thady Hayes said his father had a "keenly logical, organised, and fiercely intelligent mind".
Hired at 20 as a salesman by Gallahers tobacco firm, he became its managing director at 26. He moved to Independent Newspapers at 31 and became managing director of the group at 33, said Thady.
He led by example and would master "anything he turned his hand to". He was able to retire from business at 46 and enjoy his passion for farming, he said.
Joe and his wife Collette enjoyed 50 years of love and devotion together.
"Mum made dad what he was and vice versa," said their son.
During his illness, Colette was a source of strength for Joe and the family.
He thanked the family's friends for their great support. His father fought his illness with his usual "acute diligence and practicality" and was acknowledged for his "heroic" struggle.
Later, during the prayers of the faithful, Joe's daughter Danielle said the family were grateful for the years they had with him. He had been "the most incredible, selfless and heroic dad".
Among the symbols of his life brought to the altar were photographs, a sheaf of grain from his farms, and two bags of his favourite jelly sweets.
After Communion, his granddaughter Robyn (9) sang Castle on a Cloud.
Celebrant Fr Kevin Lyon, Archdeacon of Glendalough, also paid tribute to "an incredible man".
President Michael D Higgins was represented by his aide de camp Lieutenant Commander Patricia Butler.
A large number of friends from the business, journalism and farming community attended.
They included Sunday World editor Colm MacGinty, former Independent News and Media (INM) managing editor Michael Denieffe, former chief executive INM (Northern Ireland) Michael Brophy, former INM director Brendan McCabe, David Gaffney, managing director of Adsales, and Frank Cullen, former co-ordinating director of National Newspapers of Ireland, now NewsBrands Ireland, and friends Bill Cullen and Jackie Lavin.